Mare loosing weight

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Well-known member
Apr 11, 2004
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Premont, tx
I have a mare that I got almost 2 years ago. When I got her she was starved and almost dead. Just skin and bones. No muscle left. She had a few problems but gained weight and was doing very well. I sold her 2 months ago and just went last week and got her back. She wasn't eating and lost about 150lbs. The people who had her had taken her to the vet and they floated her teeth and still wouldn't eat. They took her toanother vet and he tranqualized her and found a rotten tooth and had it pulled. Still wasn't eating. The vet suggested bute because she might be in pain from all the teeth work and she coliced.
I have her back here and she is still not eating her grain but is grazing and picking some of the leaves out of her alfalfa. Won't touch the coastal hay. She is starting to gain a bit of weight. My vet said it sounds like ulcers since she coliced when she was given bute. There is no way I can afford to keep her on the gastro guard for a month. Does any one know of any other meds that aren't so expensive? Gastro guard runs $35 a tube here. (one tube a day+$35=very hungry me!)

Oh yea, her lungs are clear and her temp. is normal and she was on a daily wormer here and at the other place and was also being beat up by the dominant mares(not here). I have ordered the wormer that kills tapeworms.
I would really appreciate any input on how to help her.
Is she a valuable animal, Terri? If not, no offense, I'd send her down the road or have her put down to cut your losses. Some animals are just chronic money pits. But then, the horse market's in the toilet up here, so good ones aren't as expensive as they once were.

It sounds like you're doing your best, just hope that she's worth the trouble and gets well for you, as it sounds like you're pretty attached to her.

Good luck and take care.
I've thought about just taking her to the auction, but after 2 years of trying to get her healthy, I hate to think of her going to the butcher. They are the biggest buyers at the auctions here. Shes not registered but my 3 yr old can ride her. It's very difficult to find a horse you can trust with a small child. And my gelding is very attached to her, other wise I wouldn't have even bought her back. He was depressed and going off his feed. Just moping around. So was my 3 yr old. The only reason I sold her was because she is so tall. I feel like I am tossing my daughter on her instead of just setting her in the saddle. I wanted something shorter. You should see me try to get on her, your belly would hurt from laughing.
I had her on gastroguard for 4 days and bought some U guard for her. She started eating a little bit on Sun. night. I also wormed her Monday and made her take some sand free. I don't know about the other place, but it is very dry and dusty here. I give all my horses the sand free once a month. One of my neighbours had a horse stop eating and when the vet gave her the mineral oil(impacted), she passed a bunch of mud.

I talked to my vet this morning and he said her teeth are very worn down, and they are crooked. He doesn't think that she is all that old (about 18, old enough) but her teeth were loose from the malnutrition when I got her. They are firm now but no longer in place. He filed down the points so they wern't cutting her cheeks. Also her mouth may still be sore from all the work and try to soak her feed. The meds are working on her ulcer and she is starting to eat a little bit. She has gained a bit of weight since comming back home. Her hip bones aren't sticking out so much now.

My mare ate 2 lbs of pellets and 1/2lb of boiled oats tonight!!!
Terri - I may be off here, but it seems every vet you've talked to has had a different opinion off her teeth. Maybe all are correct, maybe none. If you or the vets are still thinking of teeth related problems you might want to see if there is an actual equine dentist in your area.
I don't know anything about the 2 vets she saw in houston, but my vet is the one who does most of the horses around here. I have talked to several ranchers around here and they don't usually keep older horses and don't have their teeth done. But I'm looking for one.
If I didn't miss it in the posts, have you tried soaking her alfalfa? Friend had a old mare once that had harder time chewing the stems. Had a flake sized tub and put two flakes in, with fresh water. Next norning she fed the mare and began the next one. Mare kept her weight up, being able to chew easier.
Terri":1ttag79w said:
She isn't having a problem eating her alfalfa. Its her grain she's snubbing.

Might be a teeth problem...

Plant the grain; buy her some bagged feed that has alfalfa and/or molasses base in it...try that.

Never quite understood why there is such a big deal over "grain". Also known as oats and/or corn. Are a lot of quality bagged horse feeds out there that horses love to eat and are considerably more nutritionally balanced than "grain."

Just my opinion... ;-)
I said grain, but its acutally the Nutrena Prime. Its pellets and she was eating them just fine 2 months ago before I sold her.
Friends had an old horse with few teeth left. They would put alfalfa pellets in a bucket or tub, and soak them down with water. The old boy would spend a lot of time just slowly working his way through the feed and he stayed in good condition.

Gastrogard, in case you haven't researched it, is omeprazole, aka Prilosec. Recommended dose is 4/mg/kg/day. I wish there was a less expensive medication for you to buy for your horse. It's amazing what the drug companies sock you for.
I have a 33 year old pony that lost weight real fast last winter. His teeth were so bad & had a broken jaw years ago. I now feed all his feed in mashes. I feed him alfalfa pellets, beet pulp, equine sr. & a little vegetable oil. You can add the molasses too. Also try to add some probios with the change of feed. He has gained all his weight back & comes running to the barn for his feed. I also throw him some hay to keep him busy during the day & @ night even though he spits most of it out. I would try this & see if it helps & @ the same time you are giving them more water which also might help her with colic. Best of luck - let us know how it is going!
I have tried the mush and soaking oats and hay. She won't touch it. On the advice of a friend (and out of fustration) I bought some sweet feed and she has eaten about 4lbs of that today. That is the most she has eaten since she has been back. I am taking her in on monday for more blood work. To check her liver and stuff.
I almost don't think its that she can't eat her food, she won't eat it. I hate to think ill of people but she is not the same animal that left. I have noticed the last couple of days that she will not approach her feed bucket if I am near it or even if I am watching it. She has never done that before. And she has never been a horse to run to you, but she has never gone out of her way to avoid me either. Now she does. She doesn't even like you to make eye contact, she will turn her back if you do. I'm starting to wonder if she is just afraid to eat? What do ya'll think? Is this possible or am I just going insane with fustration?
For the last 3 days, since I bought the sweetfeed, my mare has been eating her full ration. She is also eating all her alfalfa and some of the coastal. I started her on the u-guard about a day and a half before that so I don't know if the sweeter feed helped or not, but she is eating it and thats all that matters. She eating!!! Her hips are dissapearing!!

My vet said that only gastro guard will cure ulcers, but that the u-guard will allow them to heal so she is not in pain. Whats the difference? Besides the co$t?

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